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Mid-Semester Updates and Big News

Hi everyone, I can't believe how quickly this semester has been going by. I am officially to the half way mark of my Spring 2019 semester and I have so many updates to share and a big announcement that I will save for the end of the post. I hope you enjoying reading what I've been up to.


My classes

My snow day study set up

For those who don't know, this semester I am taking 19 credits of classes: Organic Chemistry 2, Orgo 2 lab, Organismal Biology, French Introduction to Cultural and Textual Analysis, Sociology 100, Discrete Mathematics, and my Gemstone research. That being said there has been a lot on my plate, I always have studying or assignments to do so I've been constantly busy since school has started. But I am happy to say that I have been succeeding!

I got a 94 on my first organic chem 2 exam, and for those who know what those chemistry classes are like then you know that this is a big deal, the average on this exam was a 65. It is actually the highest score I've gotten in a college chemistry course so far, it is really exciting that as the classes get harder I seem to get better and better! I hope to continue doing well and am hoping for an A in this course. The next exam has a lot of material and is even harder but I am determined to do well.

I also did extremely well in my biology class by getting a 98 on the exam! I got another 98 on my math exam, and a 93 on my sociology exam! I really surprised myself at how well I did considering I had all these exams back to back, but I've found that I work best under pressure. Be sure to check out my last post on studying and scheduling skills to learn more about how I did this. I am really enjoying all courses and the material that I am learning.


Changing my Major

Another update is that I changed my major for a second time since starting college.

I changed from Microbiology to....(drumroll).....Cell Biology and Genetics! It's not a major change because I am still a biology major and all my current classes still apply, however I have changed my specialty. Instead of studying microorganisms I will be focusing on cell biology and am able to take classes such as Human Genetics and the Biology of Cancer. I am so excited to take these courses.


CSA Gala

This semester I had the privilege of performing at the Caribbean Student Association's Annual Gala. I did a rendition of Lauryn Hill's Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You. CSA's gala is a night of performances, dancing, and food as we celebrate Caribbean culture and greatness.

I was also awarded the Rastudo Award for upholding Caribbean excellence on and off campus. I was so surprised and am so thankful for this award. It is really important for me to always be a good representation of my island and to never forget where I came from. Next month is CSA April, a month full of our organization's staple events such as Carifest and J'ouvert so stay tuned!


Award Nomination and Leadership

I had the great honor of being nominated for a University Leadership Award! I was nominated for the Mildred & Richard Loving Award for my work demonstrating a significant and ongoing commitment to multiracial and cross-cultural causes and communities. I was also nominated to participate in HerStory, an event links the University of Maryland alumnae with exceptional student leaders, in April. I will be writing on this event and I am excited to attend.

I've been working hard with my various leadership roles. For CRD, I have been organizing and am the leader of a community service experience that I will share later on in this blog, as well as keeping up with my other secretary duties. We have had some successful events such as our Crust and Conversation which is an event in which we enjoy pizza while discussing medical dilemmas. Our upcoming events include a suture clinic, and information meeting with the Association of American Medical Colleges, and our annual Networking event which is on April 19th from 6-9pm in Riggs Alumni Center. This event connects students to various doctors, medical students, dentists, and other health care professionals, if you are a pre-health student you don't want to miss it! For more information check out our website or message me!

I've also been really active in my Gemstone leadership roles. Recently the program was launching their new "GoFund" a fund that student can apply to for various reasons such as for internship transportation, program applications, getting MCAT books and etc. I was so happy to be there when we hit our goal of $5000!

I am on the Gemstone 100 Steering Committee, which is a committee that works along staff to plan and execute our introductory course that each freshmen takes in their first semester. I've been working to help plan the recruitment for our student teachers next year, (if you're in Gemstone the application is now open, message me for more details)!

Next, as my role as Director of Strategic Outreach, we launched our brand new "Ambassador and Outreach Program" which allows students to be a representative for the program at various hallmark events. (Applications for this are also live!) I have also been planning a series of events called Pizza and Processing, which is a chance for students to come together and discuss a different topic each month. I'm so excited to see how it will turn out!


Gemstone Research - Team Cascade

My research team, Team Cascade, has had a busy semester! At the start of the semester, we defended our research proposal to a panel of experts. We got a lab space and ordered our first set of reagents. Next we planned our fundraising campaign with LaunchUMD, a platform for raising money on the University of Maryland. We had a goal of $4,500 and we reached our goal in one day which was so amazing! Since this amount doesn't cover our entire budget we have a new goal of $7,000 to help us buy the other necessary reagents for our experiments. Above is our fundraising video, I love how our video turned out. If you would like to donate please visit our page here:

I am really excited to start working in the lab as we work towards presenting and defending our thesis in the future.


Habitat for Humanity

I have been working for the last few months to plan a Collegiate Challenge Habitat for Humanity trip for my organization Charles R Drew Pre-Health Society and I am so glad that the time has finally come. This Spring Break, I will be volunteering my time to help build a house for a family in need. Community service is something that is so important to me and I am so excited to be apart of this mission.

I will be blogging about my experience so stay tuned to learn more!


I am proud to announce....

I am so proud to announce that I have been accepted as UM Scholar for this upcoming summer. I will be spending my summer on the University of Maryland Medical Campus conducting research with chosen mentor/expert in their field. It is such an honor to be accepted to this competitive program, only the top 10% of applicants are chosen for a total of 14 students who will be apart of this program. I am so grateful for this priceless opportunity to be able to expand my research skills, shadow doctor, gain clinical experience, meet important faculty of the medical campus and more. Here is a description of the program:

Funded by the University of Maryland MPowering the State (MPower), the UM Scholars Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) is an intensive summer research program for UMCP undergraduates majoring in science, engineering, and mathematics fields and interested in biomedical research and medical professions. Students are matched with faculty researchers who have leading-edge biomedical and health research projects. For 10 weeks during the summer, students will conduct intensive research and will be immersed in a variety of enrichment activities that deepen the students’ understanding of biomedical research, introduce them to different academic and career paths, and connect them with like-minded peers including medical students and other health professional students as well other undergraduate students interested in various research fields.

Thank you to everyone who is so supportive to me on this journey. I cried when I found out that I got into this program and am still so shocked and excited! I can't wait to share this experience with you all!


I can't wait to see what the next half of this semester will bring. Thank you for reading!

For daily updates follow my instagram: @simply_kye

Until next time,


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